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Author Topic: EP175: Reparations  (Read 15488 times)
slic
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Stephen Lumini


« Reply #60 on: September 21, 2008, 01:52:45 PM »

It just bothers me that these people are wasting themselves poking about in the past rather than living their lives when they were born to make a better future. Or are we to believe that the world had become perfect in their time, and there was no situation there in need of aid? Please. Mere technology cannot change the natural man.
That's an interesting question.  It strikes me that there are people in our time and neighbourhoods we could ask.  Is what they did much different than people who travel out of country to help small villages instead of helping local charities?
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Talia
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« Reply #61 on: September 21, 2008, 07:05:47 PM »

  It just bothers me that these people are wasting themselves poking about in the past rather than living their lives when they were born to make a better future.

I doubt the people they helped thought it was a waste. Those people were still people, trying to live, survive, whether they were in the rescuers' time or not. Past or present is somewhat irelevant, the time travellers were helping people.. innocent victims.

That's no waste.
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mudguts
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« Reply #62 on: September 22, 2008, 12:01:39 PM »

This story blew my mind... at first, it started out as a simple time travel tale.. then it remained a bit mysterious until the end when the 'other' showed up and the story really became interesting.  It was like an audio version of 'The Usual Suspects'.  It just meandered along peacefully until the very end when it whacked you in the head with a shovel!

Well written.  Well read.  Well done.   

I definitely want to hear more from this author.
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WillMoo
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« Reply #63 on: September 22, 2008, 02:03:43 PM »

This story affirmed my belief that the vast majority of time travel stories are fatally flawed. Why go back and bandage the wounded when you could go further back and stop the event in the first place. Then you would have to write about how the land war in Japan cost far more lives in the long run than the two bombs did.

I won't even go into the "white guilt apologetic pap" that was the center of the story.  Roll Eyes
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veganvampire
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« Reply #64 on: September 22, 2008, 06:24:01 PM »

About the outro: Steve, you said it.
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ieDaddy
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« Reply #65 on: September 22, 2008, 06:50:14 PM »

Didn't really care for it - not sure what the overall point of the story was.

There was too much paradox once you got past the initial layer - if she had brought back the 2 individuals then future self would not have been allowed to go back in order to bring the 2 individuals back from the past.  So future self had to be altering the timeline along a parallel time where she had not brought them back?  it sort of falls apart when you think too hard about it.

And like others said, time travel aside, if you're already messing with it, why not the big events too and pull something like a Stargate: Continuum with an altered timeline world? 

But, at least it was nice reading.
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contra
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« Reply #66 on: September 22, 2008, 07:11:51 PM »

I took it that the reason they went for the new person on the controls, is that they wouldn't want to admit a screw up like this.  Bringing a future version of someone back?  Massive screw up.

Thus they would be willing to hide it, and get the timeline fixed.  Thus there is no paradox where things do and don't happen.
Since the future self knows what is gonig to happen (that the past self is saved in 3 days), they can be sure that this chain of events will happen. 

I'm not going to get into the bombings themselves.  They caused unspeakable horror, and may have saved lives in the long run.

America should be the ones doing reparations in this one, noone else.  After all it was them that dropped the bomb.  That should be caring for the wounded they caused.
While Europe should be responsable for the firebombings over there, and all the killing fields thoughout history that have blooddied almost every inch of the continent. 

While the death toll of the pacific war jumped greatly that day; for the war as a whole, it didn't jump by much... and in the grand scheme of the world for number killed in war for the last 200 years, it was hardly a blip. 
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Cognosco
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« Reply #67 on: September 22, 2008, 11:16:49 PM »

Amidst all the scientific notation and hot-blooded nationalistic fervor, I would like to point out a different perspective on this story.  But first, thanks Steve, for purchasing this story and running it.  You seem to choose all 'our' stories by some kind of innate sense of feeling and although I don't like every story, I find that most of them are either fun or thought provoking.

To those whose heads didn't explode trying to figure out the logistics of meeting oneself on a road outside of Hiroshima or Nagasaki, I'd like to offer that the time travel angle was just a vehicle for the story and not the central part.  Some might say, "Well that's what makes it SciFi", but think about it this way - if you lived in an age when time travel was normal, and you told a story involving time travel, wouldn't it be just plain fiction?

To the marine who bleched all over the page above, I'd like to ask why the word 'reparations' makes you feel so guilty?  One meaning of the word 'reparation' is "restoration to a good condition", which is all the little team of volunteers (repeat - volunteers) was doing.  And this is exactly the reason they didn't go back just a little before so they could cut the throats of the pilots who dropped the bombs.  When you can't go back and change something so big in history, the best you can do is go back and take care of some of the little things.  Maybe ease one person's pain for a few days.

Which brings me to a conclusion.  The point of this story was about sacrifice.  Once I stopped trying to figure out the "how" of this story and just accepted the story at face value, it dawned on me that it was all about the protagonist's own sacrifice for that one little boy.  Love and sacrifice, baby.  Not guilt through service.  That's what it was all about to me.   Nice job, Steve.
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Dutch Monkey
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« Reply #68 on: September 23, 2008, 11:00:02 AM »

Time travel stories, while sometimes cool, don't pass the mustard with me. Among the other reasons noted above, what really stands out to me is: Is the future unchanged by these time travel excursions? They mention keeping tallies and data collection and "next times." But eventually this organization will cease to exist. They will have helped all the wounded they possibly can, eliminating the need for such a program in the first place. Imagine a scenario with a junior technician who would join the team when there are more than 5000 lives to save, but once that number hits 4999 or less he doesn't care enough to do it. If he's manning the controls on that exact mission, who's going to be there to throw the switch to bring you back? When time traveling, you really can't go home again.
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wakela
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« Reply #69 on: September 26, 2008, 06:53:19 PM »

I had the distinct feeling that this story wants me as an American to feel guilty about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  So in that sense it wants me to think about the bombings the same way Obama wants me to think about the Iraq war.  They want me to think until I agree with them, not until I reach my own conclusion.  Otherwise the story would have acknowledged the complexity and subtlety of the atomic bombing issue.  And why should every American go back in time to aid the wounded, and not ever person or every citizen of a nuclear power?  The purpose is not to discourage nuclear war or to aid the suffering, it's to punish Americans.  So I feel like I'm being told what to think.  One sentence about other countries doing the same kind of thing or why no one went back to stop the bombing completely would have alleviated this.  But the story sabotages it's own message by soft peddling the horror of the bombing.  The story mentions "injuries" and "the wounded" but the reality was extraordinarily horrible.  Flesh sliding off bone, melted eyes, etc.

The story did get me thinking, though.  The most interesting part for me is that time travelers still allow the bombs to be dropped -- the war to be started for that matter.  Also, most of the injured in this story were not being cured, they were being given temporary comfort.  Most of these people will die of radiation poisoning.  So I wonder if other countries were time traveling to give reparations, were Germans going back to aid inmates of concentration camps, but not to free them?  Were citizens of some kind of future Al Qaeda  nation coming back to comfort those trapped in the World Trade Center even though they were sure to die within the hour.  Is it worth it to do this? 
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wakela
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« Reply #70 on: September 26, 2008, 07:09:38 PM »

My Hiroshima experience.

I was in Hiroshima about ten years ago with a friend of mine.  Both of us are Americans.  We had been to the atomic bomb museum and we were sitting on the curb in front of the Atomic Bomb Dome, a building left standing as it had been after the bombing.  It's a haunting, skull-like building, and we were silently absorbing the heaviness of this place.  A group of high-school girls stood across the street listening to a lecture.  It was clear that this school trip was just as boring to them as ours are to us.  One of the girls spotted us, waved, and nudged her friend.  They both waved and gave us big smiles.  After the lecture they called us over to pose for pictures with them in front of the Dome.  About a dozen girls crowded around us for the picture, grinning and giving the peace sign.

 
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JoeFitz
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« Reply #71 on: September 26, 2008, 09:37:41 PM »

To the marine who bleched all over the page above, I'd like to ask why the word 'reparations' makes you feel so guilty?  One meaning of the word 'reparation' is "restoration to a good condition", which is all the little team of volunteers (repeat - volunteers) was doing.  And this is exactly the reason they didn't go back just a little before so they could cut the throats of the pilots who dropped the bombs.  When you can't go back and change something so big in history, the best you can do is go back and take care of some of the little things.  Maybe ease one person's pain for a few days.

I respectfully disagree. "Reparations" does have that literal meaning, but it is loaded with connotations of righting a moral wrong. Reparations are owed, not voluntarily given. These volunteers, moreover, were not "restoring" anything. The story has little discussion about why it was any sort of sacrifice to participate in these time journeys, and that was disappointing.
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evo.shandor
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« Reply #72 on: September 28, 2008, 08:53:27 PM »

I'd like to thank wakela and Joe Fitz for eloquently stating what I was trying to say, but I only ended up belching a vitriolic rant while they used much more measured tones.

Thanks guys.
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Planish
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« Reply #73 on: October 04, 2008, 04:21:53 AM »

Paradox? What paradox? They ... um ... used a Schrödinger Time Travel Machine. You shot your grandfather AND did not shoot your grandfather. Yeah, that's the ticket.

The wave function collapses one way in the "normal" universe, and the other way in a second universe. The altered (superposed) universe that was created is pinched off, looping forever, and inaccessible from the "normal" universe like, a Klein bottle. Each trip into the past pinches off another branch. This assumes that time travel does not necessarily permit the ability to jump into parallel time tracks within a multiverse.

Sure.
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Zathras
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« Reply #74 on: October 08, 2008, 08:37:55 AM »

"Can not run out of time. There is infinite time. You are finite. Zathras is finite. This is wrong tool. No. No, not good. No. Never use that."
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Baldessarini
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« Reply #75 on: October 11, 2008, 03:28:05 PM »

Another question about time travel:
Why didn't all four (laura1+ slaura2 + boy + man) go back - if the counter doesn't work, why should laura 2 be able to take 2 others with her, but laura1 can't take all of them back?

I liked the story and I didn't think there'd be such a heavy discussion about politics - although I was also surprised that the main discussion was about time travel, because originally, that wasn't what struck me about the story...
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gwalchmai munn
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« Reply #76 on: October 24, 2008, 02:57:29 PM »

Wow! Great story. I won't worry about any political implications, but I would like to discuss some practical matters.

I'll call the narrator Laura40, since this is her 40th trip. I therefore think "injured Laura" is Laura41, due to L40's comment about her realization of the urgency that she save the man and boy. So, L40 waits until she can go back at the alternate pickup and the returns ASAP to a location which is safe, but as close as possible to where she can locate the boy and man (easy to do because injured Laura can tell her where they can be found). She then returns to where she already knows L40 is and the loop closes. (Yeah, I understand the inherent paradoxes of this, but such things exist in time travel. See the Terminator's arm mentioned above.)

Now, a practical consideration. On the day (we don't know if it's the 6th or the 9th) there are at least 41 Lauras near the city. There are also a whole heap of other time travelers. If they continue sending back folks, at some point there is going to be saturation.

Also, what about duplicate matter? I remember that whenever Superman traveled back to Smallville, Superboy would be automagically sent to Superman's time in order to satisfy the Laws of Thermodynamics.

And twonkys? The "doctors" are using modern medicine. And leaving doctors' bags in the past. Bad juju.

But overall I liked the story and appreciate EP for bringing it to the interweb. Wink
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Zathras
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« Reply #77 on: November 03, 2008, 12:52:15 AM »

After Steve's outro in EP 182, I thought that this quote from B5 was quite fitting.  It's from "Confessions and Lamentations," a 2nd season episode.

Delenn and John Sherridan are referring to the Markab, who are all infected with a disease and being quarantined.  John is trying to talk her out of entering the quarantined area.

Delenn: They are in pain. Frightened. Dying. Minbari are taught that, at such a times, the afflicted should be ministered to, comforted.
John Sheridan: They're not your own people, Delenn!
Delenn: I didn't know that similarity was required for the exercise of compassion.

Thanks for running this one, Steve.
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Aaron
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« Reply #78 on: November 03, 2008, 01:33:54 PM »

I'm with you Steve.

Great story, I enjoyed it immensely.  You really know how to pick them.
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Cerebrilith
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« Reply #79 on: November 08, 2008, 10:14:38 AM »

This story didn't do much for me, but I wanted to voice my support for Steve's obvious good intentions.
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